Welcome to PBZ

PBZ is the public library in Zurich.

Enjoy lots of leisurely hours and make some exciting discoveries in your PBZ Pestalozzi-Library Zurich.

PBZ in short (PDF)

What we offer

In our 14 libraries you will find approximately half a million items for loan or for reference on site. Our collection consists of books and audiobooks, newspapers and magazines, music CDs, CDs for kids, feature films, documentaries and special interest films on DVD, computer games, maps, sheet music, language courses and more. If a particular item is missing from our stock that you would like to borrow, you can make a purchase suggestion and we will consider buying the item. Please use the form «Anschaffungswunsch» in the libraries or on our website. Furthermore, we provide a loan service for digital media such as e-books or e-papers.

Not only do we have items in German, but in eleven other languages. You can find an overview here.

There are over 300 events taking place in PBZ libraries every year. Amongst a selected few book readings for adults there are numerous events for kids under the programme «KinderTREFF», the details of which can be found on our website or in our KinderTREFF booklet published at the end of August.

Moreover, you will find the following services at your disposition in most libraries:

  • Reading areas with newspapers and magazines
  • Places of work
  • Internet station
  • Photocopier

Our service and the prices

How to join the library

PBZ libraries are open to everybody.

  • Children and youths until 16 
    (max. 25 items at the same time + 8 items of digital media): free of charge
  • Annual Card plus (max. 50 items at the same time + 24 items
    of digital media): CHF 90
  • Annual Card (max. 25 items at the same time + 24 items
    of digital media): CHF 65
  • Small Annual Card (max. 2 items at the same time): CHF 40
  • Annual Card for students, interns, unemployed and those entitled
    to Swiss disability insurance (IV) (max. 25 items at the same time 
    + 24 items of digital media): CHF 40
  • One Month Card (max. 5 items at the same time): CHF 15
If you are an owner of the «Kulturlegi», the Annual Card costs only CHF 40 and the Small Annual Card is free of charge. 


Your library card

Please show your library card at each loan. It is not transferable, not within family members or people living in the same household. In case of loss make sure you immediately notify us and we will issue a replacement card at the cost of CHF 5.

Loan period

Items are issued for four weeks, except for DVD feature films which are issued for one week only and «Take-away» books which are issued for fourteen days.


Borrowed items can be placed on hold. They have to be collected within a week after notification. The reservation costs CHF 3 per item. Items which are not available in your local library can be ordered from another PBZ library.

Renewing your library items

Borrowed items can be renewed twice except for the latest German fiction books with a «Nicht verlängerbar» notice on the cover, the books from the «Take-away» section and of course all items that have been requested for reservation by another borrower. You can renew items at the issue desk, online or by calling your local library, but not by e-mail.

Return items

Please make sure you return your items on the last day of the loan period to any PBZ library. Should you deposit it in the drop-it box, the day of return will be the next following day when the library is opened. Always calculate and leave enough time for when the library is closed.

Oderdue fines

If items are overdue, a fee must be paid:

  • 1. Dunning letter: CHF 3
  • 2. Dunning letter: CHF 7 (CHF 10 is to be paid)
  • 3. Dunning letter: CHF 10 (CHF 20 is to be paid)

After the third dunning letter of no avail you will be billed for the costs of replacement of the borrowed item.

Care and attention

Please note that you are responsible for any borrowed item. In case of damage or loss you will be charged the costs for repair, replacement and handling fees. Please bring no replacement copies to the library; we will purchase the lost items for you.


PBZ excludes to the widest legally permitted extent any liability for losses or damage of any kind that are directly or indirectly connected with any borrowed items, particularly digital video, audio and other data carriers. Furthermore, PBZ will not exert any supervision of minors during regular opening hours of the libraries nor at any events. For further details please read our terms and conditions.


Our offer

We provide loan services for digital media such as e-books, e-audios and e-papers (digital newspapers and magazines). They are available in German («Onleihe» and «Onleihe Junior») and English («Overdrive») for all adults who own a PBZ Annual Card or Annual Card plus and «Onleihe Junior» is available for children and youths.

«Onleihe/Overdrive» at www.biblio24.ch

For the loan of digital media you can log in at www.biblio24.ch with the barcode number of your PBZ Annual Card and your password that consist of six figures. You can read or listen to digital media on your computer, tablet, smartphone or e-reader. For further details on how the media is transferred to the different devices, please read the section called «Hilfe». There you can also find a list of all compatibles e-readers.

The loan period for digital media (except for e-papers which vary) is 21 days. You can borrow or make reservations for a maximum of eight items per service at the same time. Reserved items are kept for your exclusive download within 72 hours after availability. Afterwards the reservation expires.

The services «Onleihe» and «Overdrive» are free of charge, which also means that there are no fees for the reservation of digital media or overdue fines. Moreover, the accounts are not connected to your account at PBZ. The loan of digital media is an additional service to the loan of physical items in the PBZ libraries.

Your library account

Accessing your account online

Click on «Mein Konto» on the website. By typing in the barcode number of your library card and password you can log into your library account.

What your library account offers online

  • The display of all borrowed items with due date
  • The display of both reservations on hold and ready to collect
  • The renewal of items
  • A web form to register an e-mail address for collecting notifications and to receive the dunning letters by mail
  • You can also change your password

Change of address

For security reasons you cannot change the address online, but you can let us know of your new address by web form or at the issue desk in your library.

Validity of your membership

In your library account you can also check the validity of your membership with PBZ libraries.If your membership expires, so do all the items on your account. Please make sure you renew your membership in due course or return any borrowed items on the day the loan period expires.


Download the PBZ-App so you can access your library account and search for items you would like to borrow at any time. Please find more information at www.pbz.ch/pbz-app